01. Introduction: To Taipei with Star Alliance and SkyTeam business class awards
02. United Airlines 737-900/ER first class San Diego to Los Angeles
03. Asiana A380-800 business class Los Angeles to Seoul
04. Incheon Transit Hotel
05. Eva Air A321 regional business class Seoul to Taipei
06. Grand Hyatt Taipei
07. The quiet serenity of Taipei during Chinese New Year
08. China Airlines Dynasty Lounge, TPE, Terminal 1
09. China Airlines 777-300/ER business class Taipei to Seoul
10. KAL Prestige Class Lounge, ICN
11. Korean Air A380-800 Prestige Class (business class) Seoul to Los Angeles
12. Delta Connection CRJ-700 first class Los Angeles to San Diego
I’m going to go down on record as saying that my one-night stay at the Incheon Transit Hotel was without a doubt the most practical and convenient part about this entire trip to Taipei. Notice that I didn’t say “best”…it was good, yes, but it’s pretty hard to beat being spoiled rotten by the amazing flight crews of some of the best airlines in the world.
I was faced with a 14-hour overnight layover at ICN between my LAX-ICN and ICN-TPE segments, and while I did consider going into the city and cramming as much Korean culture as I possibly could into my short stay, I’m too getting too old for that kind of thing and I’m all about comfort and convenience these days. The Incheon Transit Hotel excels in comfort and convenience admirably.
Located smack dab in the heart of the main terminal at Incheon airport, it’s the perfect retreat for weary-eyed travelers such as myself who need to get some rest before continuing on with the rest of their journey. You can’t stay in this hotel if you don’t have an onward flight connection, so be prepared to show proof in the form of a boarding pass or itinerary. I simply showed the front desk agent the email itinerary on my phone, and that was good enough.
The best part about the Transit Hotel is the fact that you do not need to clear customs or security to reach it. It’s integrated right into the international departures terminal, so you can literally walk off your flight, check in, sleep for a bit, and then wake up 30 minutes before your onward flight begins boarding. It truly lives up to it’s name!
Before I get to the pics, let me just say that I apologize for shooting everything with such a wide angle / fisheye lens. It was done out of necessity actually – everything about the Incheon Transit Hotel is very tiny and cramped. From the main lobby to the restaurant, to the individual rooms – this is a tiny place.
As you can see, the overall experience was more akin to a college dormitory rather than a luxury hotel. And there isn’t a thing wrong with that. All I was looking for was a place to shower and sleep, and I found this place to be perfect for that, and far more convenient than an offsite airport hotel (such as the Incheon Hyatt that I stayed at nearly three years ago).
It should also be noted that since this is a transit hotel situated in the middle of a gigantic international airport, you’ll have to deal with the noise of other travelers coming and going at all hours of the night. I didn’t have earplugs with me on this trip, but they would have come in mighty handy during my stay here. I was woken up countless times all though the night by the sound of people dragging their luggage down the hallway, slamming doors, yelling for their kids to hurry up, etc. It’s an active place.
Despite the noise and activity, I found the convince to outweigh the bad by a pretty far margin. I would stay here again without even thinking twice about it…though I will be sure to have industrial-strength ear plugs in my bag.